This interactive exhibit inside Rock Springs Nature Center explores the world of plants and animals. Enjoy learning about the plants and animals native to Macon County by seeing, feeling, crayon-rubbing, opening doors, and pressing buttons in this hands-on interactive exhibit.
Dig into the Past: Evidence of pre-historic and historic Native Americans, as well as Euro Americans, is scattered throughout Macon County. By carefully digging and examining artifacts and debris, archaeologists can make educated conclusions about the way of life of the people who once lived here.
Experience the Prairie: All things in nature are connected. Prairies help clean the water that drains into forested areas, which ultimately reaches streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. Wildlife makes a home in the sea of grass and flowers, finding food and shelter. Rabbits, deer, hawks, prairie king snakes, and other species use the prairies and woodlands for shelter, foraging, and hunting.
Learn about Woodland Forests: Forested areas contain a wide variety of plants and animals. Oaks, hickories, and many species of shrubs and wildflowers filter pollutants from the air and provide food and shelter for the birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects. With the aid of prairies and grasslands that control erosion, and the streams and rivers that provide drainage channels, a forest is critical to the success of many plants and animals.
Most forests in Macon County occur along streams and rivers. Mature upland forests primarily contain oaks and hickories, but walnuts, maple, wild black cherry, and other trees are also found.
Wildflowers including trillium, bloodroot, spring beauties, and Dutchmen’s breeches survive in the woodland. This diversity of plants provides habitat for wildlife and a great place for hiking, photography, birding, and studying nature.
Explore the River: A river is a vital part of the ecosystem. The Sangamon River flows through both rural and urban areas in Macon County. This artery is vulnerable to waste products produced by both humans and animals. There are many ways that we as humans can help the river system stay clean and help the other residents of this ecosystem. Explore how we, as stewards of the environment, can give the river a hand!